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Phoenix man pleads guilty in nephew’s 2012 death

PHOENIX — A Phoenix man has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the
death of his infant nephew in 2012.

Maricopa County prosecutors say Manuel Antonio Gonzalez entered his plea
Friday. He’s scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 5.

Phoenix Fire Department crews responded to a drowning call at a home in October

They reported finding 21-month-old Xavier Becerra Martinez hurt, but his
injuries didn’t appear consistent with a drowning.

Fire crews called Phoenix police and then transported the boy and Gonzalez to a
hospital, where the toddler later died.

Police say homicide investigators discovered Gonzalez was watching his two
small children and his nephew.

He told police that Xavier was playing with a hose and drowned in a puddle of

Authorities said the injuries were more consistent with child abuse.


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